Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center in partnership with FACTS Asia will be hosting the roundtable, “India in a World of Asymmetrical Multipolarity” on 27 February 2024, 2:30 PM (GMT+8), at the Seminar Room, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, University of the Philippines, Diliman. The event is by invitation only.


India's significance has been noteworthy despite the prevailing dominance exercised by renowned powerful nations such as China, Russia, and the United States. India's evolving role in an increasingly dynamic global landscape has led it to focus on and commit to asymmetrical multipolarity, thereby revealing the multifaceted impact of India's actions on a diverse array of international actors.1 Since 1980, India has been recognized as an expanding economy, attaining middle-power status with a developing power mindset. Concurrently, the evolving geopolitical realities introduce opportunities and challenges that shape India's foreign policy approach.2
India views China as a persistent adversary despite shared traits such as large populations, expanding economies, and increasing influence. Identifying China as its primary security challenge, India acknowledges the enduring threat that extends beyond territorial disputes to encompass geopolitical concerns in the maritime domain.3 As China’s rise impacts the power structure in the region, it pushes for a multipolar world, one that accommodates China’s rise, the presence of the US in the region, and the equal standing of minor and major powers in terms of decision-making.
India’s push for a multipolar world is not an easy feat considering that international platforms are often used for bloc politics. Furthermore, with China’s aggressive posture, India is turning into one of the strategic actors in the region as it amps up its diplomatic engagements, naval cooperation, and trade deals with Southeast Asian states. In the past year, India has continuously engaged Southeast Asian states on varying levels, relatively warmly received by the smaller states in order to undermine and counter China’s influence.4 Amidst this background, the Roundtable discussion aims to discuss India’s role and vision of a multipolar Asia, the challenges presented by great power rivalry, and how it navigates and conducts its relations between major powers and minor powers in the region.


Dr. Jagannath Panda is the head of the Stockholm Center for South Asian and Indo-Pacific Affairs (SCSA-IPA) of the Institute for Security & Development Policy (ISDP), where he is also the director. Dr. Panda is a senior expert on Indo-Pacific affairs. His research focuses primarily on China-India Relations, Japan-India Relations, Korea-India Relations, EU-Asia Relations, and EU’s infrastructure, connectivity and maritime initiatives in Indo-Pacific. He is author of various books like India-China Relations (Routledge 2017) and China’s Path to Power: Party, Military and the Politics of State Transition (IDSA & Pentagon Press 2010). View his full profile.


The event is organized by the UP Asian Center and FACTS Asia.
FACTS Asia is a non-stock, non-profit organization registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission Philippines. Their aim is to provide and host expert analysis on foreign and public policies to be utilized by various stakeholders and policy-makers. View their full profile.

 For inquiries, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 891-8500 loc. 3586.
The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website.